Nations in the Western Hemisphere have agreed to work together to fight terrorism in the region.
At the Summit of the Americas over the weekend in Miami, 34 nations issued a declaration and plan of action that include little-publicized provisions focusing on the rising tide of terrorism in the hemisphere.
The nations, including the United States, pledged to “condemn terrorism in all its forms, and will, using all legal means, combat terrorist acts anywhere in the Americas with unity and vigor.”
Calling national and international terrorism a “Systematic and deliberate violation of the rights of individuals and an assault on democracy,” the nations pledged to convene a special conference of the Organization of American States to discuss how to prevent terrorism.
The Summit of the Americas comes at the end of one of the deadliest years the Jewish community in Latin America has seen.
In July, a terrorist bomb ripped apart Argentina’s Jewish community center, killing at nearly 100 people. The following day, 12 Jews died aboard a Panamanian commuter plane that exploded in midair.
The Western Hemisphere nations also agreed to promote agreements “aimed at prosecuting terrorists and penalizing terrorist activities.”
The states also reaffirmed extradition treaties that cover the entire hemisphere.
Warren Eisenberg, director of B’nai B’rith’s International Council, hailed the inclusion of terrorism on the summit’s agenda and the high priority that the Clinton administration has placed on terrorism.
“This recognizes that the world has changed and that countries that were viewed as insular and isolated are now part of the growing world,” he said.
B’nai B’rith was incited by the White House to attend the conference, Eisenberg said.
Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress, added, “We are pleased that the leaders took seriously the need to address the terrorist menace and plan to fully participate in the regional conference on terrorism.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.